In which ride seasons starts and we are there with smiles but without a horse

Obviously, Fiddle isn't in shape for any endurance events yet.

We're up to 20 minutes of hand-walking plus 15 minutes of walking under saddle daily.  And both of us are pretty podgy from the layoff.  Improving, but not ready yet.

But lack of a horse isn't enough to keep Jim and me at home on the first ride weekend of the season!
Jim's new minivan, christened "the Silver Sleighbelle", was our living quarters
in camp.  Pretty comfy in there!

Part of the fun of our sport is hanging out with wonderful people.

Kathy found this charming parrot at a thrift store.

And sometimes, those fine friends bring new fine friends along with them!

Jenni brought her friend Bonnie AND her young horse Piglet

Shopping for tack is the only kind of shopping I don't loathe.  I think I already own at least one of everything that American Trail Gear sells.  There are even several pictures of Fiddle on the ATG, that makes me really qualified to help other people shop in their store, right?

ATG's Diana helps Piglet find just the right stuff.

Bud from ATG makes a marvelous tack stand.

How's this for incentive to attend the ride meeting:  cupcakes!

We were celebrating a birthday.  Mmmm, cupcakes.

Dr. Root gave everyone the usual pep-talk about riding hairy horses on a warm day at the first ride of the year.  I guess everyone listened, because I didn't see any horses needing treatment.

I made sure that the dogs got a very long romp in the grass before we all hunkered down inside the van for the night.

Foxie and Roo love ridecamp.  Luna stayed home to help Monica take care
of the Farm while we were gone.

The advantage to working the ride instead of riding the ride:  I didn't have to get up at 4am!

The startline of the 50-miler was quite civilized.

These were the cutest mules in camp.  Unfortunately, the bay mule decided that
crossing the creeks on the LD was NOT an approved activity, and the rider was
very frustrated by her mount at day's end.  I love watching mules.  I don't want one.
There were plenty of Green Beans attending, which always makes me happy.

The novice distance (12 miles) was well-attended, with almost 20 riders.

Piglet doesn't see the point of hurrying.

This local family decided to see what the fuss was about.  The young man
was not impressed, but the young lady got hooked!

There were a few mishaps during the day.  An extraordinarily wet winter activated some artesian springs on the trail, and created a mud bog for the riders.  Ride management re-routed the trail, but not before some folks hit the mud.

Elaine and her horse Chancey went separate ways in the mud.
Both returned to camp dirty, but uninjured.

 Everyone agreed that the trail was beautiful, no matter how fast they travelled over it.  Jim was the timer for the finish line, and I pulsed horses all day.

Dennis Summers finished first, riding his wife's horse Egypt.  Sue is still in a cast
after breaking her leg, but Egypt took Best Condition in the 75-miler.  

Even the drive home through sunshine was a delight.

Entiat Lake

Coming to camp without a horse isn't my favorite thing.  Soon, I hope to have Fiddle ready to return.  
Until then, Jim and the dogs and the Silverbelle and I will be coming to camp without her. 

Because coming to camp without a horse is still better than staying home!


  1. Sounds like a great first ride of the season... with or without the horse!


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